Thanks to the blog of "Beach Bum," (who's been following my blog here for a short time) -- "The Life and Times of a Carolina Parrothead" -- I've also run across the blog of Karen Van der Zee, called "Life in the Expat Lane." Haven't read much of it yet, but what I've read has been more than entertaining and even a bit enlightening. She lives "abroad," and in some very strange places, and she writes about her experiences. She has written a book, available in ebook format for $2.95 (if I recall correctly [yup, just checked]) called You're Moving Where? The first chapter, "It's OK to be Jewish," is available free, and relates her experiences in her first few days living in the Palestinian West Bank town of Ramallah, where she discovers it's ok to be Jewish (which she's not).
A theme I've touched on before on this blog and on Facebook is that the Muslim faith is not "inherently violent," and that all Muslims are NOT "terrorists," etc. And it's a topic on which people like to disagree with me. Well, I think I have an advantage in this argument because I have some Muslims who are friends. In fact, I've made friends of Muslims in various places around the world -- New York, Vienna, Austria, the Philippines. The one on the train from Poughkeepsie, New York, admitted to me (in 1985) not only that he was Muslim, but "it's even worse than that," he said: "I'm Shiite." And this was only a few years after the incident in Iran during the Jimmy Carter administration. The fellow in the Philippines (on an all-night ferry from Butuan to Cebu) drank his beer and confessed to me why he was a lousy Muslim (in part because he was drinking beer!). Oh -- and I forgot the mention the guy (apparently Turkish) we shared a train compartment with in Europe who looked like Sadaam Hussein. No kidding. He gave chocolates to the kids. Nice guy! We communicated a little in broken German (well, mine was broken). And the pizza guy in Vienna who wanted to practice his English. Yada yada yada (a Hebrew expression; "yada" means "I know" in Hebrew).
So, thanks, Beach Bum -- who has some really good posts of his own.